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Comps up slightly in December's third week

New York -- The Johnson Redbook Retail Sales Index was up 2.4% in the third week of December following a 2.2% gain the prior week.
Month-to-date, December was up 2.2% compared to December of last year, relative to a target of a 2.6% gain. Month-over-month showed a 0.2% drop (relative to a target of a 0.2% gain).
December is a five-week month on the retail calendar, ending on December 29th.
Catlin Levis, Redbook analyst, said seasonal sales "may also have been lubricated by price action, which could erode margins. Some retailers have selectively marked down outerwear and other winter items, often in addition to preplanned promotional discounts."
On-line shopping remained at a strong pace.
"For some, a strong weekend was a favorable omen, however, most are withholding judgment until the final two weeks are over," she added. "With Christmas falling on Tuesday this year, sales over the weekend preceding the last minute Christmas shopping rush are expected to boost sales."
Due to the market holiday, Johnson Redbook said it will release its Dec.25 report instead on Dec.26, and its Jan.1 report on Jan.2, both at the usual release time.

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